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University cross country
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Anselm Murphy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 9:23 am    Post subject: University cross country Reply with quote

Hi, I've just started university and they dont even have an athletics club Sad . Isn't that a bit odd? It seems like in America everyone at college/uni takes athletics so seriously. Anyway, the only running- related thing they had was a cross-country club, so I've joined them. But.... I have never done any cross county running before, and I was wondering.... what are the standard distances for XC? eg like 100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000 and 10000 metres are standard in normal track athletics. Also, since its cross country does this mean a lot of the courses will go up and down hills and stuff? But most importantly, are you normally allowed to use a walkman when running cross country?
Thanks!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not all US colleges have intercollegiate teams. An unfortunately large number do not have specific programs (budget cuts, typically), and students are lucky if they have a club outlet in their chosen sport...

In the US, the standard collegiate XC distances for men are 8k and 10k. I would guess it is siimilar in the UK, but that's just a guess. Grass, hills, mud, barkdust, gravel, hay bales -- all kinds of fun stuff! Smile

I would think running with a walkman is frowned upon in any group environment...

Dan
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Anselm Murphy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is it "frowned upon"? I could understand that in training but surely in a race you won't be able to have a leisurely chat, so using a walkman shouldnt matter. Have you ever known anyone who used a walkman in races?
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realize you were talking about for racing... As a one-time coach, I can tell you I would never let an athlete run a race with a walkman, and I doubt you would find many track/XC coaches who feel differently. You could make a case about it impeding or potentially injuring other runners, and it will make you look very arrogant to those around you. Unless you have a really good reason to do so, I would strongly recommend against it...

Dan
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also would frown upon training in a team enviornment using a walkman. And at least here in the states I'm almost certain their band. (I remember reading something about them in the rules prior to our regional championships last year) I think they're afraid of the coach putting coarse instructions on tape or CD and you listening to them as you go. Not to mention the danger of the wire or headphones becoming entangled with other runners during the race. Last year we had an athlete on the team that when he ran by himself would run with a walkman and the other athletes thought he was a joke. Quite simply running with a walkman is something people that run to loose wieght do, not something competitive athletes do. It's one of those unwritten rules. Besides if your racing you should be running so hard that the last thing you would want to do is drag around a walkman.
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Anselm Murphy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've had my first XC race, and it went, well .... bad. You can see the results here:
www.ulathletics.co.uk/crosscountry/results/parl02.html
It was 5 miles, and I only came 65th, which is pretty bad. It took me 34:29 which I was pretty disappointed with - id have thought that I could run nearer to 31:30 or so, as I used to run 5 miles a day in around 32mins ( perhaps my measurement was horribly wrong, but I dont think so).
I think this was partly down to me not training for about a month ( except with uni - only twice a week), and partly down to me not being used to XC. All of my running has been flat - this started with an unnecessarily cruel 300m uphill! It was really hilly for the rest of it too. I just cant take those hills! They are so tiring! I also had a cold, but I dont think it would have had that much of an effect.
I finally got round to seeing a physio though, and they gave me several different stretches to do each day, and told me to put ice on my leg, which ive been doing for nearly a month, and I think its gradually getting better, although that could be because I've stopped training much in order to get it to heal.
Only a week before the race I ran a mile on a track in 5:32, after a lot of other training with the team, so I havent really lost that much fitness - id expect about 5:15 if I was fresh, based on my 1500 time. Even bearing in mind that I havent trained for a while, 34:29 seems pretty slow doesnt it?
Anyway, I've got the next one on next one in 9 days - its 5.4 miles and our trainer says its less hilly (I hope so!).
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't under-estimate the effect of not being accustomed to cross country. My first collegiate race was an 8k (5 miles). I had never even run more than 6.5 miles in high school, and never raced longer than 5k (I'd only done that about 3 times), so I knew I was in for a learning experience... Absolutely horrible day; finished in about 37:30. I actually had people telling me to veer toward the finish chute, not knowing I still had a loop to go... Sad A week later, I ran the same distance in 32:09. Still rather pedestrian by many people's standards, but oh what a difference a week makes!

Dan
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Anselm Murphy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm..... you improved 5:20 in one week, so if I go and run the same course tommorrow, I should be able to do it in 29:10. Great!
Unfortunately I dont think it will be so easy for me!
I do think I should be able to take at least a couple of mins off once I start training properly again though, and get a bit more experience at running up and down hills.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that you will improve very quickly right in the beginning... I had a similar experience, my first race at the 5k level mind you was somewhere around 30 min, and I cut it to 24 minutes the next time I ran it.

Cross Country can be a daunting sport when its new. Hills are just something that you have to get used to. My HS course had a 300m hill as well, I used to rabbit for the team in 9th grade... more like I would rabbit the other team into getting tired out Razz , but XC is so much fun you will find out, it makes track running seem much more boring than it already does.

Good luck!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
more like I would rabbit the other team into getting tired out

Wow, there's two novel ideas! 1) XC rabbits, and 2) deceptive rabbiting. Smile

Dan
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35910
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:

Wow, there's two novel ideas! 1) XC rabbits, and 2) deceptive rabbiting. Smile


Well since I don't know you or this board or XC well enough to know if you are being sarcastic... yeah I was an XC rabbit. The coach actually didn't promote it, I just did it for the other guys on the team, but man would I be tired for that second lap from hell... but the idea was so would the other team... too bad we didn't really have good enough talent to capitalize on it anyway. Rolling Eyes

Thinking back maybe it wasn't such a good idea afterall... eh mistakes are part of life as they say. I don't think that I would play rabbit for anyone now, I have too much respect for myself and my goals. Every race is an attempt for a personal best. Mayyyybe if I was on a team that I really cared about helping to win. Maybe. Otherwise, Thumbs Down
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was actually mostly serious. I don't think I've seen either take place, aside from lead bikes on XC courses, which is mostly for keeping people going the right way.

Dan
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